Ada and E

Confessions of a secret sin in a monastery.
Good For You, 2022. Ink on leather. 6 x 4.5 in.DeSe.

There was a postcard stuck to the foot of E’s bed. A girl in a bikini doing a bridge on the beach. Her flat stomach stretched against a sedative sky. I dug in my underwear. I was him wanting her. I inhaled E’s pillow. It smelled like cat and dirty hair. It must have been washed several girls ago. I wanted it to smell like me. If I were him I wouldn’t like me. I would like the girl in the postcard. Light and fun and free.

I wiped my sticky hands on the bed, got up, and opened drawers. I had snuck into E’s room while he was at a party. I wanted to know what he did with his time, if he really was as boring and bored as he looked. He had a way of living without things which I found hot. His submissive approach to life didn’t seem to be a front. Still I wondered if there wasn’t some inner dimension that had yet to be unearthed.

On the floor, his cat sat on a pile of clothes. The cat looked just like him with dark hair and dark eyes. I sleuthed as she watched me. I had watched her too once, purring sluttily as he nuzzled her, his black hair entangled with hers while I stood there, watching him love someone else.

I wanted to fit in this room. To be indispensable. A mindless thing. Like the matchbox on his nightstand. Dumb and small. He could burn my little wooden limbs to light his cig. Or I could be one of the leggy fashion models in the soiled magazine hidden in the closet. My stiletto impaling a juicy clementine. The gothic arch of my foot crushing a perky grape.

In a week I’d be going to a monastery in Reims, where champagne is from. It was tradition, in this study abroad program in Paris, for students to study at a monastery, before exams, in exchange for work. E said he’d come too, which I doubted. We had been hanging out for ten days. He reminded me of my first crush, a strange feral boy who looked like a pencil and walked around looking like he’d just woken up. E was like that too, trapped in his impotence, waiting to be held so he could be of some use.

I didn’t believe in God but I believed outfits changed lives.

I had made the first move. I felt brave reaching out for his hand at a party. When he accepted, I clutched him as if he were a rare and precious artifact that had been passed down for centuries. I wanted to understand the archaeology of him. His soul was in need of excavation. I felt chosen even though I believed I had summoned him. Now I wouldn’t have to watch him from afar like I did with pencil boy. I could even be cruel. I taunted E about his bad grades and his horrible tattoos and watched as his eyes lit up. My cruelty touched something in him. Some familiar carnal wound.

At the monastery, I thought I’d be making champagne-shaped chocolates with the nuns. Instead, when I got there, they gave me a bucket with vinegar and rags. In a long stiff dress I got on my knees and wiped the priest’s vintage pee off the toilet. I cleaned in silence. I didn’t believe in God but I believed outfits changed lives. I sang and prayed five times a day. Life was graceful this way. Sometimes I even believed I was good.

The nuns said I was pretty. That I should get baptized. They could even do it here. I never mentioned my mom was Jewish. They said condoms were bad. I didn’t use them anyway.

This one nun would wince at me in the halls. Like she knew I was a freak and a bad influence. But if she had sussed me out she probably wasn’t good either. I wanted to ask her what she prayed for. How I could forgive those who had hurt me.

Had she forgiven God for making her ugly and dry?

One of the students told me there used to be a gate that separated the nuns from the rest of the world. She said families and visitors could only talk to the nuns through the gate. This was in the 1930s, when the nuns read from a Bible with all the sex edited out. She said that in the garden there was a tunnel which led to a secret burial plot, filled with holes for the sisters’ unborn.

I texted E on my Nokia burner. Without internet or God, I was lonely. One weekend, he showed up. Sister Bernadette had asked me to rake the leaves in the front yard. E helped and we whispered behind trees. I told him to meet me in my room after last prayers. The Sister was surprised by how little we had raked.

E’s clothes came off. He was hard as I took off my uniform. We were naked now. I thought of Eve and how she must have been bored in the garden. Maybe she bit the apple because she knew the shame would turn her on. Maybe she just wanted clothes. I reached towards E in the dark.

This isn’t right, I thought. He isn’t supposed to see me naked. He hasn’t even courted me!

I held E’s D. Around him I forgot about me. All I was, was wet. It was me and E and the little Jesus above the bed. E kissed my neck with papery lips. I wanted to write something on them with mine. Every touch pressed a different place in my mind. My pussy was crying. I looked at E. He was more beautiful than me. Sometimes I felt like he was the girl.

I took his dick in silence so as to not wake the nuns.

E got on top of me like a spider. He was so light that for a moment I thought he would float away. I was ready to disappear with him too. But he seemed focused on staying hard and playing out what I guess he thought a man was supposed to be. I pretended to be faithful to his command, not knowing what might happen, like I was an innocent thing, like I was Eve.

I took his dick in silence so as to not wake the nuns. The nuns cultivated silence. But I liked to talk.

In the beginning, God’s word became flesh. I wanted that power. For my words to fill E up until they spilled out of him, until he couldn’t take it anymore, until he was transformed. I told him I could crush him. He was so skinny that I really believed I could. His body tensed up. His ears got hot. He put my legs on his shoulders then grabbed my left foot and started sucking on it fondly, tenderly, like it was another woman he was making love to. He seemed enraptured sucking on each manicured toe like it was the secret to his dewy skin. He moaned into my foot. My leg looked good wearing his head like a shoe.

After an awkward pause, I got on top. It was my turn to look at Jesus. How many nuns had fucked in this room and been surveilled by Our Father? I felt connected to them, riding E, assuming my duties in this lineage of spiritual sluts. I was getting more turned on picturing the covert acts they had committed since this old monastery had first been built. Maybe I did belong here after all. God had wanted me, and E, to come. E was under me like he was my little bitch. He seemed to like being subjected to my control, like it was penance for not being the man I wanted him to be. I looked down. My dainty thighs squeezed his waist like a corset. I didn’t want to be ladylike anymore. I wanted him to feel me. All of me. All the shit I had learned to hide. I was going to let him in.

Maybe the nuns were right about the body being bad and dirty because why did it hang so heavy on me, dragging me down into its depths?

I looked at E. His black eyes flickered and shadows moved in them like water. Demons. They were around. I thought I heard them whispering. E gasped and his body shook from under me. I jumped up and stood on the bed staring down at him. I lifted my right foot to meet his eyes. I closed each eye with my toes. I pressed my toes on his arms, his stomach, and on his legs right near his balls. He laid there rigid. Then I stood on him with all my weight. His body squirmed and twisted, releasing all the things I hated about him into the night. I was going to free him with my exorcism. The demons said I was the only one who could. They said I had the authority. That by putting him down I could teach him DIGNITY. They said it was the Day of Judgement, and that, SSSsshaammeee is liiiike ooOILL yoouUU cantttt remooOOve ittt wIIITH waaAAAttteer oooOnly moooREEE ooiiiiLLL—

E’s rib cage poked out like thorns as I crouched over him. His prick slowly rose and looked up at me. I thought I saw fear but maybe it was hope. I heard the demons cackle. Then I stepped on his heart and he came, shooting a stream more powerful than any I’d ever seen. He stared up at me from between my legs. He seemed drained, literally, but at least he was free. I collapsed on the bed and snaked myself around him. He just looked at me in a strange way, almost repulsed, like I finally understood something about him.

Back in New York, I didn’t tell anyone I was pregnant. In the shower, the bloody gunk wouldn’t go down the drain. I thought about shipping it to him in a jar. Instead I pressed against it with my toe and watched it slide into tiny holes. ♦

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